Smashing The Old Elite – Influencer Marketing Examples
People need evidence to change their mind.
Others adapt a behaviour when they can see proof. Once trust is earned, evidence diminishes until something goes against what you believe in.
Becoming influential means that you become accessible to others and able to build a domain of authority.
If authority and accessibility is centred on content that has a clear point of view and is backed up by evidence, it can become the key differential for any business and to become the trusted source.
This space of influencer marketing is only going to become more relevant in 2017. Just have a look at what Google Trends highlights when compared to the traditional media route one of print advertising.
Whilst the graph shows a decrease year on year for print advertising (blue), we haven’t even come to the peak yet of influencer marketing (red). October 2016 has now seen interest move from a traditional channel to a new space, created and curated by others who have taken a stance to be brave and courageous.
Influencer Marketing Examples (1)
Lets highlight some more proof of people and businesses who are owning their space, by taking an approach centred on evidence, not just product benefits.
This is Tarryn and Tim Poulton. In 2009, they decided to start their family. In 2010, Tarryn was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition that affects how female ovaries work. In the UK, 7 out of 100 women are affected by PCOS and have difficulty in becoming pregnant.
Tarryn took a decision to change her daily routine by introducing exercise and a low GI diet. Today, they have two children. You can read more about Tarryn’s story here.
In 2012 they launched PCOS Diet Support with a focus to share a whole discipline within the foundations of diet and exercise. Evidence centred on Tarryn’s story and a belief that a lifestyle commitment can alter a diagnosis that looks at a drugs and surgery.
PCOS Diet Support has built a subscribed audience of over 50,000 people and now considered as the trusted source for other women with PCOS.
The online programmes focus on video, meal plans, emails, private groups, with a focus to educate an audience on a change of habit.
I wanted to find out more. I asked what happened when they leaned into this whole world of PCOS. Tim replied, “Tarryn spends a lot of time researching, looking for the evidence behind various treatment strategies and approaches for PCOS. She only talks about and teaches about those things that have a solid evidence base.”
“The site initially listened to women’s requests for dietary support and meal plans which resulted in the development of the first product, a monthly subscription service where women get weekly, seasonal PCOS friendly meal plans.”
They have since expanded into full teaching programmes, giving women the tools that they need to manage their PCOS independently.
Does this mean that influence is starting to grow on a wider scale? By this, I don’t just mean subscribers but those within the medical profession. Tarryn commented, “Doctors are leaving comments and asking questions about their own PCOS. Many women are also referred to PCOS Diet Support by their own doctors or endocrinologists.”
This not just represents influence but a responsibility for others. There has to be a huge sense of reward in this. Tarryn and Tim agreed, “Women email on a regular basis,” said Tarryn. “They share stories of being able to finally get pregnant and start a family after years and years of struggle with infertility and even fertility treatments.”
By using evidence and sharing knowledge, Tarryn and Tim are now building a business by sharing experiences and a path for others to follow. Within PCOS, PCOS Diet Support is now becoming a recognised domain of authority.
This is not centred on a huge branding exercise where the focus is to create a brand to manipulate via fictional characters and stock library photos, but a real life couple who have experienced frustration, heart ache and have achieved a better life as a result. By being accessible to others, the brand is centred on others trusting people not a logo.
Influencer Marketing Examples (2)
This whole focus on people, not brands caused a furore at Milan Fashion Week last month (September).
The powerful elite once dominated the fashion world. From their impenetrable castles the likes of Vogue set the trends and people stood back in awe. The media was the gatekeepers to style.
Sally Singer, Vogue’s creative digital director stated at the annual event, “Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe paid-to-wear outfits every hour: please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.”
The bloggers have now built their own spaces, where others come to party, while the ivory towers have started to smell a bit musty. The old elite is being replaced by others who have cultivated their own lands.
Take a bow the likes of The Blonde Salad (Chiara Ferragni), the Italian blogger (first fashion blogger to appear on the cover of Vogue) and fashion designer has become a resource to help sell products. Pantene secured her as their global ambassador in 2016 and is also the face of Amazon Fashion in Europe.
Not a logo, not a brand campaign, but a person who represents a change of influence within the fashion industry. Bloggers are now becoming the domain of authority, not just the traditional media channels.
Bringing In The Influencers
So, how can you take a stand, cement your position in a place that you thought was only accessible to those with the deepest pockets?
To give some perspective, author of microDOMINATION and the PR Warrior, Trevor Young highlighted the role that individuals and influencers now play is about “having a perspective that is distinctively yours.”
Trevor continues, “thought leadership often entails having a philosophical point of view around a particular topic or issue, joining the dots for people.”
“This means having an opinion, but one that’s supported by evidence somewhere along the line. Whether this is a research study you undertake yourself, or co-opt information and findings from other people and then make sense of it by overlaying with thoughts, insights and ideas based on your own particular knowledge and experience. This is what makes your particular perspective uniquely yours.
“Not every expert is, or will become. a thought leader. But with passion, purpose and personal commitment, they can grow from being someone who simply uses their bank of skills, knowledge and expertise to help others, to becoming a genuine thought leader with the ability to move people with their concepts, stories and ideas.”
Trevor explains that those recognised as influential in the eyes of others, “drive conversation and ignite debate.”
“They challenge our thinking and encourage others to do likewise. The world does not need more noise, platitudes and group-think. But we DO need more good ideas, and thoughtful commentary around those ideas. We need frameworks that simplify difficult concepts.”
Taking on the topics within this article, does becoming influential mean become a source of opinion (the fashion bloggers) centred on the continuous ability to prove evidence (what PCOS Diet Support have done)? Trevor stated it depends on your own ‘particular field of endeavour.”
“Anything that veers close to a professional discipline or domain such as science, nutrition, media and marketing, business and finance, customer experience, cyber security, education, architecture etc – you will cut through the clutter if your ideas and opinions can be supported with credible evidence. This in turn will help you build trust with people.
“However, if your domain expertise is fashion and lifestyle, art, music, entertainment, pop culture generally, these topics are generally rooted in subjectivity – it’s all about an individual’s opinion, and there are many reasons why we gravitate to one person’s opinion over someone else’s.”
“Some people have a distinctive view of their topic, let’s say, street fashion, for instance. This will be borne from hours and hours of watching people on the street in cool parts of different cities; taking note of what other bloggers are saying and writing about; following cutting-edge documentary makers and Instagrammers and photographers and musicians – distilling all that information and then putting your own personal spin on things, your own sense of style. Which in turn makes your perspective a unique one. It’s still research, but it tends to be more observational and subjective.”
Sitting On A Hospital Bed
Two years ago to this very week (week commencing 17th October), I was sitting on a hospital bed drawing a map.
It was my youngest daughter, Alice, who has her second birthday this week. Whilst my wife was still in hospital, those moments of quiet helped to layout the whole meaning for The Content Revolution and the map at the beginning of the book that was used to illustrate the way that the world was and the way that the world was becoming.
Two years later, it is now starting to come true, in terms of the proof being documented and recognised on a much wider scale.
The gatekeepers of information and control are now being superseded by people who have courage and a belief to harvest their own land and attract people to it, on a continual basis. What I highlighted was going to happen, is now happening.
Whether this is by putting 100% trust in the establishment from the NHS to historic media empires, the old elite is being threatened and rich land is being cultivated by others, who have the ability to attract an audience based on a belief and showing evidence.
If you don’t have a copy of The Content Revolution but want to have a look at the map and the opening chapter that sets the scene then click here.
Lets Round Up
Taking an approach centred on evidence with the willingness to dig deeper, helps build trust.
The success of PCOS Diet Support, according to Tim Poulton, has been, “connecting with your audience’s needs. Tarryn is writing and speaking with first hand knowledge of PCOS.”
Whatever industry you are part of, the ability to search for the truth helps others connect with you. A huge differentiator as Tim highlights is to be ‘authentic and real.’
To become a voice, does mean discipline and investing in the long game. It has to be a 100% commitment to stand for something that is different from everyone else.
Trevor continued this by highlighting that those who are influential “get out of the comfort zone of their own particular area of knowledge and expertise. They cross-pollinate with ideas from other, sometimes totally disconnected, fields; thus this whole notion of joining the dots and developing a theme based on evidence but overlaid with personal insights and a well-honed perspective.”
Where this takes your business is to a place that is truly differentiated from the rest of your marketplace. You have never had a better time to smash the old guard with an approach centred on what you believe in and truly stand for.
Tim Poulton is joining me to explain how PCOS Diet Support has built an audience of 50,000 people. This has enabled him and Tarryn to sell ongoing programmes to a subscribed audience. He will share how it works and tips to take on board your side at the next You Are The Media Lunch Club.
The date is Thursday 27th October (from 12.15pm) in Bournemouth. Be great to say hello, meet new friends and understand how a content/owned media approach can drive your business. Click here to read more and to book your place. See you soon.